05.16.16Mark Sherman / Kenny Barron "Interplay"

http://jazzchill.blogspot.com/2015/05/new-releases-rob-mazurek-exploding-star.html

A great meeting between jazz piano legend Kenny Barron and the younger, brilliant vibes player Mark Sherman – Barron being a veteran of top notch duo settings, and Sherman newer to it – but Sherman succeeds here mightily! Interplay couldn\'t be a more fitting title, as the pair are perfectly simpatico – working together on a range of material and a lone Barron original, it\'s wonderful from track-to-track – feeling like one of the coziest, strongest late night jazz club sessions you\'d ever be lucky enough to see. Includes nice takes on the tried-and-true \"Afternoon In Paris\", \"Dear Old Stockholm\" and \"Indian Summer\", the Barron composed waltz \"Venture Within\", Dexter Gordon\'s \"Cheese Cake\", the Charles Mingus gem \"Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk\", \"Polka Dots And Moonbeams\", \"Without A Song\" and more.  ~ Dusty Groove, Jazz Chill Music


Interplay – Kenny Barron and Mark Sherman  is Awesome
 
Last year pianist Kenny Barron and bassist Dave Holland released the terrific album The Art of Conversation. In 2015 Kenny Barron returns to the duet setting, that he has visited nine times through the years. This time Kenny has teamed up with vibraphonist Mark Sherman. The album is titled Interplay and their interplay results in another terrific album and one the I know will be in my music rotation for a long while!! What can I say I love vibes and piano, well, when it’s Kenny Barron’s fingers tickling those ivories there’s not many who are better!!
From Chesky Records at YouTube:
This stellar inter-generational collaboration between National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and 10x GRAMMY Nominee, Kenny Barron and vibraphonist Mark Sherman, showcases their remarkable interplay on nine well-chosen standards and two originals. A consummate accompanist and one of the most lyrical pianists of our time, Barron has had a longstanding love affair with the intimate duo setting. Perhaps most memorable of all was his 1992 duet with Stan Getz on People Time, the tenor sax master’s final recording.
Now comes Interplay, his tenth duo encounter and Sherman’s first. And once again, the great pianist demonstrates his considerable skills — uncanny listening, fluid and sympathetic comping style, facile exchanges and horn-like melodic lines, rich chord voicings and impeccable time feel — in this simpatico conversation with vibist Sherman. “Kenny’s harmonic sense and just the way he serves the music is at the highest level," says Sherman. “I was transcribing Kenny Barron solos when I was 16, 17 years old, so you can imagine how much it means to me to be recording with him.
Bottom Line: Rating
I will admit that I listen to a lot of jazz, when I am either reading or like know when I am writing (The Art of Conversation is on now!) and Interplay has already proved that it is a great album to have spinning,, when my fingers are flying across the keyboards and my mind is trying to keep up!! The “interplay" between the artist and their respective instruments is truly a thing of beauty!! So Check It Out!



Most recently, Kenny Barron, piano, and Mark Sherman, vibraphone, HDtracks.com DL, 192/24 AIFF, Interplay. I am a huge Barron fan. From the moment I pressed play in Amarra Mode, Amarra Symphony with iRC, I had no difficulty appreciating the artistry in technique and musicality. But the production quality, in my opinion, left me wanting considerably. From HDtracks: A premiere duo binaural release featuring jazz aficionados Mark Sherman and Kenny Barron (the tenth in the illustrious career of Kenny Barron and Mark Sherman\'s second with Chesky Records), Interplay is the blending of two generations of musical practitioners of the highest caliber. Lending their own unique verve and ingenuity to nine jazz standards and two original pieces, Sherman and Barron, both professors at Juilliard, teach us all a thing or two about the genre we call Jazz.

A premiere duo binaural release featuring jazz aficionados Mark Sherman and Kenny Barron (the tenth in the illustrious career of Kenny Barron and Mark Sherman\'s second with Chesky Records), Interplay is the blending of two generations of musical practitioners of the highest caliber. Lending their own unique verve and ingenuity to nine jazz standards and two original pieces, Sherman and Barron, both professors at Juilliard, teach us all a thing or two about the genre we call Jazz.






Kenny Barron & Mark Sherman – Interplay (Chesky)

Relaxed session from pianist Barron and vibraphonist Sherman, whose casual ease allows both contemplative and cheerful tones to commingle effortlessly.  Along with your basic standards, a couple interesting choices of Mingus and Dexter Gordon comps.  However, it’s the Barron and Sherman originals that resonate strongest on this recording.



Kenny Barron/Mark Sherman – Interplay http://ginalovesjazz.com/kenny-barronmark-sherman-interplay/
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Kenny Barron, one of my all-time favorite pianists, and Mark Sherman, a highly respected vibraphonist who started his own label Miles High Records in the late 90s and who has recorded with a lot of vocalists, most notably with Peggy Lee, but also with Gloria Lynne, Ann Hampton Callaway, Lena Horne, Laverne Butler, and Ruth Brown, are both professors at the Juilliard School and have recorded this new duo recording in only five hours last November.
I don’t need to tell you how important and influential Kenny is as a pianist (and also as a composer), but his very lyrical and melodic style is really second to none. Kenny has recorded a lot of duo recordings in his career and there was actually one recording with another vibraphonist: Joe Locke and Kenny recorded the amazing “But Beautiful" back in 1994. So what we get here is a conversation of the highest quality and an intimate lesson in listening to each other and exchanging ideas and harmonic textures without ever losing the basics of each composition.
There are nine more or less well-known standards here and two pieces by each musician. Kenny’s “The Question Is" (recorded for his 2000 album “Spirit Song" which featured Rufus Reid and Billy Hart among other guests) is a serene ballad which at times reminded me of some of the most brilliant duo recordings by Chick Corea and Gary Burton on ECM. “Venture Within" by Mark is a beautiful waltz (note: the two composer credits on these tracks were mixed up in the booklet) and showcases both musicians in a spiritual interplay, with mutually delicious harmonizations.
Dexter Gordon‘s “Cheesecake" probably comes closest to the music Kenny was playing in his group Sphere where they explored the music of Thelonious Monk. The longest track here with over nine minutes is a romping take on this Blue Note classic which was first recorded for Dexter’s 1962 LP “Go". Both also tackle Charles Mingus on the brilliant interpretation of “Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk" (first recorded by the legendary bassist for his 1963 LP “Mingus Plays Piano"). It is the story about a girl falling in love with a piano player asking him to write a song about her dress. In this interactive rapport, the tune really unfolds as a true love paean.
You also get a swinging take on the very early “Royal Garden Blues" with boppish lines and an equally brimming “Without A Song" and some eerily beautiful playing, for example on the slowed-down “Indian Summer" or on “Darn That Dream". The more than promising start with the John Lewis composition “Afternoon In Paris" keeps the high standard until the very end. I was missing some Brazilian music here as that’s something that Kenny has been doing on his records and in his concerts over the last years. But you can’t have everything…
Kenny is in France and Denmark in July playing with his regular trio with Kiyoshi Kitagawa and Jonathan Blake. Mark Sherman and his Group will play Dizzy’s in New York in September and he’s playing with his 4tet in Lausanne and Napoli in November.




Interplay – Kenny Barron and Mark Sherman

http://www.rgrandad.com/interplay-kenny-barron-and-mark-sherman/

Author: ekkarn June 1, 2015 0 Comments
Uncategorized
Kenny Barron, Mark Sherman
Interplay – Kenny Barron and Mark Sherman  is Awesome
 
Last year pianist Kenny Barron and bassist Dave Holland released the terrific album The Art of Conversation. In 2015 Kenny Barron returns to the duet setting, that he has visited nine times through the years. This time Kenny has teamed up with vibraphonist Mark Sherman. The album is titled Interplay and their interplay results in another terrific album and one the I know will be in my music rotation for a long while!! What can I say I love vibes and piano, well, when it’s Kenny Barron’s fingers tickling those ivories there’s not many who are better!!
From Chesky Records at YouTube:
This stellar inter-generational collaboration between National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and 10x GRAMMY Nominee, Kenny Barron and vibraphonist Mark Sherman, showcases their remarkable interplay on nine well-chosen standards and two originals. A consummate accompanist and one of the most lyrical pianists of our time, Barron has had a longstanding love affair with the intimate duo setting. Perhaps most memorable of all was his 1992 duet with Stan Getz on People Time, the tenor sax master’s final recording.
Now comes Interplay, his tenth duo encounter and Sherman’s first. And once again, the great pianist demonstrates his considerable skills — uncanny listening, fluid and sympathetic comping style, facile exchanges and horn-like melodic lines, rich chord voicings and impeccable time feel — in this simpatico conversation with vibist Sherman. “Kenny’s harmonic sense and just the way he serves the music is at the highest level," says Sherman. “I was transcribing Kenny Barron solos when I was 16, 17 years old, so you can imagine how much it means to me to be recording with him.
Bottom Line: Rating
I will admit that I listen to a lot of jazz, when I am either reading or like know when I am writing (The Art of Conversation is on now!) and Interplay has already proved that it is a great album to have spinning,, when my fingers are flying across the keyboards and my mind is trying to keep up!! The “interplay" between the artist and their respective instruments is truly a thing of beauty!! So Check It Out!




1

Kenny Barron & Mark Sherman — Interplay ... CD

https://www.dustygroove.com/browse.php?kwfilter=Kenny+Barron+%26+Mark+Sherman&incl_oos=1&incl_cs=1&format=all


Chesky, 2015. New Copy ... $14.99 16.98

Add to Cart
A great meeting between jazz piano legend Kenny Barron and the younger, brillant vibes player Mark Sherman – Barron being a veteran of top notch duo settings, and Sherman newer to it – but Sherman succeeds here mightily! Interplay couldn\'t be a more fitting title, as the pair are perfectly simpatico – working together on a range of material and a lone Barron original, it\'s wonderful from track-to-track – feeling like one of the coziest, strongest latenight jazz club sessions you\'d ever be lucky enough to see. Includes nice takes on the tried-and-true \"Afternoon In Paris\", \"Dear Old Stockholm\" and \"Indian Summer\", the Barron composed waltz \"Venture Within\", Dexter Gordon\'s \"Cheese Cake\", the Charles Mingus gem \"Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk\", \"Polka Dots And Moonbeams\", \"Without A Song\" and more.





http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f15-music-general/album-evening-7578/index352.html
My incentive to sit and listen to the most recent downloads from (wherever) follows the addition of the UpTone Audio components that have changed the audio
landscape for me. I am in new territory which adds to the pleasure of reassessing my library and regretting those downloads past and recent that I now find exquisitely grand or less than. The old chicken and the egg conundrum: Maybe the UpTone Audio JS-2/MMK/Regen Amber is not as great a combination synergistically as I thought yesterday when Bill Evans\' disc 1, The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961 set me into front row exquisite. Was that a fluke? Nah! (smile)

Most recently, Kenny Barron, piano, and Mark Sherman, vibraphone, HDtracks.com DL, 192/24 AIFF, Interplay. I am a huge Barron fan. From the moment I pressed play in Amarra Mode, Amarra Symphony with iRC, I had no difficulty appreciating the artistry in technique and musicality. But the production quality, in my opinion, left me wanting considerably. From HDtracks: A premiere duo binaural release featuring jazz aficionados Mark Sherman and Kenny Barron (the tenth in the illustrious career of Kenny Barron and Mark Sherman\'s second with Chesky Records), Interplay is the blending of two generations of musical practitioners of the highest caliber. Lending their own unique verve and ingenuity to nine jazz standards and two original pieces, Sherman and Barron, both professors at Juilliard, teach us all a thing or two about the genre we call Jazz.

A premiere duo binaural release featuring jazz aficionados Mark Sherman and Kenny Barron (the tenth in the illustrious career of Kenny Barron and Mark Sherman\'s second with Chesky Records), Interplay is the blending of two generations of musical practitioners of the highest caliber. Lending their own unique verve and ingenuity to nine jazz standards and two original pieces, Sherman and Barron, both professors at Juilliard, teach us all a thing or two about the genre we call Jazz.






http://www.myvirtualpaper.com/doc/KOCHEntertainment/may26pop2015/2015040601/27.html#26






09.04.11The Places We Feel Free / The Tim Horner Ensemble

The Places We Feel Free / The Tim Horner Ensemble

2011 Miles High Records

Featuring : Tim Horner - All Compositions,Drums, Percussion, Voice & Viola / Jim Ridl - Piano & Electric Piano /John Hart - Guitar / Martin Wind - Bass / Mark Sherman - Vibes / Ron Horton -Trumpet & Flugelhorn / Marc Mommaas - Tenor & Soprano Saxes / ScottRobinson - Tenor Sax

Tracks:

A Room Full of Shoes
Invisible Heroes
Museum Piece
Mountain River Dream
A Precious Soul Fanfarefor the Common
Jims
'Tis
Spirit
Tha Places We Feel Free
PassionDancer

The Places We Feel Free is the debut recordingof drummer Tim Horner, out of NYC. Tim is one of New York City’s finest drummersand Jazz musicians. His disc, ‘The PlacesWe Feel Free’ displays Tim’s musicianship as muti-faceted. He is awonderful performer, composer and ensemble musician. His compositions (like hisplaying) are rhythmically vibrant. The tunes are melodically sophisticated,brushed with modern 20th century harmonies. You can hear the thoughtfulness behind eachcomposition. The result is a release that unveils modern mainstream music,performed by an experienced group of NYC veterans that will surely excite thelisteners, musicians and all who appreciate modern Jazz.

Everyone who participates on this disc has shining moments.It is so nice to hear Scott Robinson on tenor. If you are not familiar with histenor playing, he unveils a richness of tone, blended with modern, creativetouches in his improvisations. On ‘Fanfarefor the Common Jims’, written for Robinson, Scott just rips through theform with ease and excitement! He then turns around plays with greatsensitivity on ‘Tis’. He and trumpeter, Ron Horton provide Horner with afront-line that swings, combined with oneness of ensemble. Congrads Jims!

I love vibraphonist, Mark Sherman’s contributions.He plays with a rhythmic urgency that caught my attention—as in right away on ‘The Room Full of Shoes’. The openingcut. The unisons and trades with guitarist John Hart are melodically sparringand enjoyable to listen to. I love how the rhythm section swings so hard—itgives the soloists the cushion and the necessary creative energy to just playripping solos! Jim Ridl (piano) swings hard on that opening track on piano aswell, creating an exciting and enjoyable listen.

Ron Horton, (Trumpet and Flugelhorn), plays with arichness of ‘sound’ on this recording. He plays with a big and full ‘sound’.His pitch and ‘time’ are very good. On a ‘Precious Soul’ and ‘Tis’, hisensemble, and inventive solo’s are a welcome addition to this music.

Guitarist, John Hart on guitar is superb throughout.His electric playing flows, and he is well versed harmonically. I might note--notall electric players can turn the corner and play convincingly on a nylonclassical guitar. His training andexperience are well noted. On Horner’s ‘Passion Dancer’, his execution ofFlamenco style is fluid and musical!

The disc is also programmed very well, with anassortment of time feels and variations of ensemble. The compositions alsodisplay beautiful variation. For example, listening to ‘The Places We FeelFree’, (dedicated to bassist, Bob Bowen), (a ¾ metered tune), ‘Places’ featuresnice open harmonies as it features a section for bassist Martin Wind toimprovise. His solo is set up nicely by guitarist, Hart and vibraphonist,Sherman as their unison melody leads to the conversation with Wind. It isbeautifully done. Sherman is great once again and Tim’s cymbal work is superb!

Horner not only writes in an assortment of timefeels, he plays each style with the upmost capability. He is one of our modernmasters when it comes knowing what the music needs from the rhythm section. Hiscontributions are played with passion and conviction! His time feels so good.It makes you want to play if you’re a musician. It makes you want to move ifyou’re a listener. He is a superb musician!

You will listen to this disc multiple times, I canpromise you if you are a lover of creative mainstream Jazz. Tim’s debut is notsuccessful on one level, but on many levels. He has waited to release a musicalstatement, which clearly demonstrates his great understanding of the Jazzidiom! Congrads Jims!!

12.29.10"LIVE AT SWEET RHYTHM" Quintet DVD

'LIVE AT SWEET RHYTHM'

Mark Sherman Quintet (Miles High Records)

"Live at Sweet Rhythm" by vibist Mark Sherman and his band provides the kind of entertainment that can give club-like life to an evening at home. Besides being a good vibist, Sherman also is a talented composer and wrote nine of the 10 songs. The only non-original is Thelonious Monk's "Trinkle Tinkle". The music all is straight-forward jazz, highlighted by Sherman's fine playing and the excellent flugelhorn playing of Joe Magnarelli. He has a brighter tone than many players, keeping his sound from getting too deep and weighty. He and Sherman show the combination of the vibes and flugelhorn is one that deserves more exploration. The work of drummer Tim Horner and pianist Allen Farnham also stand out. Besides the fine play, which is good enough to invite multiple listenings, the album has interviews with each member of the band and one in which they all talk about the band.

Bob Karlovits

03.10.09Mark Sherman - Live @ The Bird's Eye

Mark Sherman - Live @ The Bird's Eye
O's Notes: Mark is a swinging vibes player who keeps things upbeat and positive. He sets the stage with the opener "Tip Top Blues". All of the music is not up-tempo however as they shine on "Trust" and "Hope" both which are reflective tunes as suggested by the titles. Tom Horner (d), Dean Johnson (b) and Allen Farmhan (p) flesh out his quartet and they keep the live audience at The Bird's Eye on the edge of their seats. This is their fourth album together and they share a happiness that emanates from their music. Sherman wrote most of the music and he adds a few standards as well notably "Moon River" plus Farnham's "Hope". They are all celebrated here for your enjoyment on two discs.
D. Oscar Groomes
O's Place Jazz Newsletter

12.15.08Improvijazation Magazine

Mark Sherman Quartet - Live At The Bird's Eye:
We have a long history with the beautiful vibe creations by Mark, and this(double) CD makes our earliest predictions of his "quick rise to stardom" totally accurate. When you put his totally energetic playing together with tAllen Farham's stunning piano, Dean Johnson's superb bass and Tim Horner's scorching drums, you'll find(very quickly) that this album attains immediate status as classic. There isn't a vibraphonist (alive today) that can come close to his abilities, and this live album makes the quartet just shine in your mind. The opener on the first CD, "Tip Top Blues", just kicks; like a good novel, it sets up the album so you won't be able to "put it down" until you've heard it "cover to cover"..."Tip Top RHythm", on the 2nd CD, is similar in it's energy quotient. It turns out that the opener for the 2nd CD "Explorations" is my favorite on the album, though...still high energy and talent displayed by each of the players, but(for some reason) this track takes me back to my early excursions the through the jazz joints of Europe. Sherman has done it again....prodused and performed an absolute winner for jazz listeners of all persuasions... I give it a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMEND, as well as the "PICK" of this issue for "best vibe based jazz".

12.02.08Just finished recording music for a film called "Manure"

I just had the good fortune of spending 3 days in the studio with grammy award winner Stuart Mathewman the brains behind many of Sade's hits and Rob Mathes the brilliant composer and arranger. The band was great, and the music was really beautiful put together by Rob Mathes.

11.21.08Mark Sherman Quartet at Kitano

I had a great night at Kitano last night. packed house and I really enjoyed playing. I had a long day as I was doing record dates all day and then had to pump out a couple of strong sets. I felt great I was not tired until today. The day after is always painful when you play vibes for a living. My hands are swollen and my back is tired. Love it!
I'd do it 365 24/7!!

11.16.08Mark Sherman Quartet "Monmouth County Library Jazz Series"

You would think it would be difficult to play a 2pm concert the day after a gig at Trumpets jazz Club late the night before, but in this case no problem. Again with the quintet today we played really well. It's always great when Joe mags joins the band. We've all been a quintet for 4 years but I can't always take the fifth man everywhere, and Joe has his own flourishing career as a headliner. I always feel priveleged to share the bandstand with this band. It's become a special thing when the music reaches such heights. And that it does with Allen, Dean , and Tim. And when Mags is there it adds the sweetening. The flugelhorn and the vibes doubling melodies.I love it!!!!! There were about 250-300 there. Great venue. Thanks for the support to the many that bought my CD's at the event. I had a beautiful day!!

10.13.08Downbeat Magazine 11/08 Mark Sherman "Live At The Bird's Eye" ***1/2

Sherman offers an equally intelligent mix on "Live at The Bird's Eye" that should please the straight ahead fans. He starts things off with an up tempo blues, with pianist Allen Farnham shadowing the leader's malletts like a cop on midnight patrol. Over two discs, the band stretches out, giving Sherman and Farnham more choruses, No sooner are we through the blues than we get some variety with the sing-song "The Winning Life" an up tempo tune with a bouncy, swinging, implies Latin feel. The variety continues with more originals in "Trust", "Hope" and "Hardship", three tunes that combine (Trust and Hope) with lively swing(Hardship). Two more originals mix it up with standards to close out the program, with Sherman's "Explorations" the hardest-charging swinger of the set and Tim Horner's taut yet explosive drumming. Sherman present's a real band feel, with the quartet speaking as one.
John Ephland
Downbeat Magazine

10.06.08CDLive at The Bird's Eye

Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello
ArtistMark Sherman
CDLive at The Bird's Eye (Miles High Records MHR-8606)
Musicians:
Mark Sherman (vibes),
Allen Farnham (piano), Dean Johnson (bass), Tim Horner (drums)
.
Composed by Mark Sherman
.
Recorded: live at The Bird's Eye Jazz Club, Basel, Switzerland, February 22-23, 2008


Rating: 86/100 (learn more)
On his 2008 European tour, vibraphonist Mark Sherman captured some rare moments with his quartet playing in a groove that often only comes during live performances. In this case the setting was The Bird's Eye jazz club in Basel, Switzerland, before a receptive and enthusiastic crowd. Having played together for the past four years, Sherman's group has annealed into a formidably potent vehicle for straight-ahead jazz, with vibes and piano being the focal points. Sherman is a facile player who can play both expressively in the Gary Burton mode as well as cook with the best of them. He and pianist Farnham take turns making points on this moody, bluesy piece, ably backed by the intuitive rhythm section. Sherman's tubular timbre is smoky and warm as he plays with the tune's time. Farnham adds some brilliant keyboard touches, his style romantic with just the right hint of melancholy. It's good to hear talented musicians performing enjoyable music to an appreciative audience.



10.06.08Live at the Bird's Eye

Live at the Bird's Eye
Mark Sherman Quartet | Miles High Records (2008)
By Eyal Hareuveni Discuss

This two-disc live documentation of vibraphonist Mark Sherman's quartet captures a working band at its best. Beautifully recorded before an appreciative audience at the Bird's Eye club in Basel, Switzerland, the quartet delivers a very joyful presentation of their repertoire: Sherman's and pianist Allen Farnham's original compositions coupled with a selection of standards referencing the glorious days of bebop and post-bop, infused with articulate, personal playing and an urgent rhythmic energy. Sherman is accompanied by Farnham who, in this live setting, feels free to push the harmonic envelope of the band. Bassist Dean Johnson propels the rhythmic ideas of his band-mates forward whilst drummer Tim Horner adds a hard-swinging touch to the music.

Sherman's compositions are deceptively simple. The opening pieces, "Tip Top Blues" and "The Winning Life," are based on a basic blues form and then a simple theme respectively, but both add the aggressive post-bop rhythm and fast chord changes which act to ignite some remarkable solos from all players, all the while keeping their signature tight interplay. The subsequent pieces, the slower "Trust" and Farnham's "Hope," see the quartet exploring the melodic options presented by the lyrical themes. "Hardship," the closing piece of the first disc, leads the quartet to an intense performance of a simple blues theme, which is used as a launching pad for some great solos by Sherman and Farnham.

The second disc stresses the formative influences of the quartet. It begins with "Explorations," which is dedicated to the harmonic innovations of John Coltrane and again features tight interplay throughout the complicated chord changes. The cover of "You Don't Know What Love Is" places the standard in a hard-swinging Latin context, while "There Is No Greater Love" is interpreted in a more faithful manner. The quartet concludes the set with the encore "Moon River," another standard arranged by Sherman with emphasis on the rhythmic possibilities of the beautiful original melody.
There are not many surprises here, just a great band that enjoys to play. Sherman can be believed when he says that he is happiest when he is performing live; this innocent happiness shines throughout this live release.

10.06.08Mark Sherman Quartet – Live at the Bird’s Eye – Miles High Records

Reviewer- Doug Simpson

Vibraphonist Mark Sherman does not yet have Milt Jackson or Gary Burton’s name recognition, but it is only a matter of time before Sherman is lauded alongside stalwarts such as Bobby Hutcherson or Walt Dickerson. Sherman’s new double-disc live album, recorded at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club in Basel, Switzerland, is a consistently captivating showcase for Sherman and his talented quartet. The ten tunes adopt a mostly up-tempo, post-bop design. Some listeners may expect an introspective, low-energy inclination, because other vibes and piano pairings have generally offered a quiet deportment. Such is not the case here.

The four musicians erupt right out of the gate with an exhilarating, blues-derived audience grabber, “Tip Top Blues," which acts as an introduction for the band members, since the eleven-minute tumbler affords room for each player to contribute vibrant, spirited solos. Allen Farnham, in particular, is in peak form, effortlessly darting through melodic improvisations at high speed while retaining the song’s expressive core.

The foursome follows with one of Sherman’s newer compositions, “The Winning Life," which has a strong melodic hook and reveals a frontward momentum that earmarks Sherman as a songwriter who may just now be hitting his stride. The group goes through several key changes that emphasize the ensemble’s long-term musical association and innate communication. The concert’s incandescence is constrained slightly on the affectionate “Trust," a cool ballad which evokes Milt Jackson’s mid-‘50s work, and is full of extended phrases, and serpentine vibraphone sustains. The 4-over-3 polyrhythm used in the melody abets the song, creating an object of thorough beauty. This cut also makes for a fine match with Farnham’s graceful “Hope," which is a different interpretation of a track previously found on Sherman’s album One Step Closer. It’s a sure bet anyone familiar with the studio version will appreciate this stimulating live dividend. Disc one ends with the heightened “Hardship," a flare-up that exhibits a volley of vibraphone and piano highlights. Dean Johnson goads and urges his cohorts with his rich, aggressive bass. He steadily pushes the piece’s motion forward and upward. Johnson is a perfect foil and complement, delivering a rhythmic fullness and harmonic astuteness.

John Coltane is one of Sherman’s acknowledged influences, and Coltrane’s harmonic innovations are shadowed on “Explorations," a commanding track that opens disc two. Sherman and the quartet convincingly carry on the concert’s potent level of invigorating musicianship, while Tim Horner’s hustling, varied drumming, and percussive anchor-point bolsters Sherman’s vibes.

Standards round out the live presentation. The quartet gives “You Don’t Know What Love Is" a swinging, Latinized tinge that uplifts the oft-performed missive to fresh heights and again provides plenty of space for group improvisations. “There Is No Greater Love" comes next, and finds the four musicians easing down to a straightforward, moderate tempo, with Horner’s brushes shading the rhythmic undercurrents.

The set finishes with a vertically askew “Tip Top Rhythm," which echoes the 32-bar form introduced during “Tip Top Blues," and as an encore, a luminous rendition of Henry Mancini’s “Moon River," which Sherman and his bandmates furnish as a lyrical goodnight gift, stressing melody while also re-harmonizing the well-heeled pop hit. “Moon River" also functions as a suitable closing act, bringing the evening’s concentrated musical invention to completion. Seeing Mark Sherman at a jazz venue is the best way to experience his quartet, but since that is not possible for all listeners, Live at the Bird’s Eye is a worthy second-best, with attentively recorded sound capturing the band’s compelling outing.

09.22.08MARK SHERMAN QUARTET Live at the Bird’s Eye Miles High Records

By Tom Ineck

We very enthusiastically reviewed vibraphonist Mark Sherman’s 2005 release, “One Step Closer," and his 2007 release, “Family First." So, it comes as no surprise that the underappreciated band leader has produced another gem, this time the double-disc “Live at the Bird’s Eye."
With just 10 tracks stretching over 100 minutes across two CDS, the performances crackle with energy, improvisational zeal and imagination. That is due largely to the very compatible nature of the superb foursome—Sherman, pianist Allen Farnham, bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tim Horner.

They fly out of the gate on the opener, a bebop barn-burner called “Tip Top Blues." Sherman correctly identifies his lovely mid-tempo composition “The Winning Life" as “a real band signature type of tune." It is indicative of the band’s upbeat mood and the playing is inspired, especially Farnham’s long exploration of the changes. “Trust" is an odd polyrhythmic ballad that challenges the rhythm section to hold down the tricky time as Sherman soars above them on vibes.

Farnham contributed his gorgeous ballad “Hope," and everyone treats it with sensitivity and personal expression. My personal favorite tune may be the lively “Hardship," another crowd-pleaser that draws out the best from each of the players as they settle into a fast blues groove. It ends the first CD with gusto.

From “Family First" comes “Explorations," a 12-minute paean to the harmonic innovations of John Coltrane. Horner is especially explosive as he drives the ensemble throughout and is showcased in a series of drum breaks as the tune grows in intensity. Sherman dips into the standard repertoire for the first time with a leaping Latin rendition of “You Don’t Know What Love Is." Again, Horner comes on strong, romping through this one with infectious glee. “There is No Greater Love" begin at a more relaxed pace, allowing Johnson to step into the spotlight for a brilliant solo before turning it over to the rest of the band.
The “Tip Top" theme returns on “Tip Top Rhythm," a rhythmically complex exercise for all. Horner confidently takes his place at the steering wheel, guaranteeing that none of the players lags behind. Farnham turns in another virtuosic bop solo, and Johnson. For a well-deserved encore, the band turns to an old favorite, Henry Mancini’s romantic ballad “Moon River."
Throughout this generous live recording, the quartet exhibits an artistic compatibility and a genuine love of the music, and the audience responds accordingly.



09.17.08Mark Sherman winner in the 2007+2008 Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll

I am proud to say that I was one of the winners in the "Rising Star Vibes" category for 2007+2008.

08.03.08Recorded "live" at the Bird's Eye Jazz Club in Basel, Switzerland Review by Paula Edelstein

Review by Paula Edelstein
Recorded "live" at the Bird's Eye Jazz Club in Basel, Switzerland, this double-disc set is truly indicative of why the Mark Sherman Quartet has consistently captivated their fans around the world. The award-winning vibraphonist continues the great traditions of Milt Jackson and Lionel Hamilton as an eloquent voice on the instrument and throughout the recording embodies the pure lyricism and melodic resonance that made his predecessors so popular with their fans. Pianist Allen Farnham delivers some of his best recorded solos to date, while bassist Dean Johnson holds the bottom end together with a constant array of rhythms and drummer Tim Horner remains a driving force in the music with great percussive colors that compliment those of Sherman's vibes. Disc One opens with "Tip Top Blues." Along with "Tip Top Rhythm"(which can be heard on Disc Two), these two songs are part of a small series of compositions which encompass the blues form and the rhythm changes form so often heard in the standard 32 bar song form of most jazz standards. Sherman and his band deliver their post-bop interpretations with indisputable acumen and exhilaration for over 11 minutes. Their great vibrations continue on "The Winning Life" and the band tears it up! This piece offers each member, especially pianist Allen Farnham, a chance to "blow" even though the melody is simple and the changes go through several major keys in the A section. "Trust" is a very cool, mystical, ballad which makes its debut on this recording. It features a 4 over 3 polyrhythm in the melody of the composition and is quite beautiful. For my taste, it is the best song on the CD. "Hope" which was also sequenced on the quartet's One Step Closer album, makes a great return but this time, its arrangement features has a matching intro and outro. Disc One ends with "Hardship" and features the band's execution of some very intense lines in the head of the tune and several solos on a blues. Disc Two opens with "Explorations" a tune from the ensemble's last CD called Family First. This song was dedicated to the harmonic innovations of the great saxophonist John Coltrane and a more fitting tribute by a vibraphonist has yet to be recorded. Two beautiful standards also reside on this disc — "You Don't Know What Love Is," and "There Is No Greater Love." The ensemble's interpretative improvisations are amazing, thoughtful, and push the harmonic envelope to no limits. The evaluation of Sherman's music will undoubtedly shift over time, but with this straight up and swinging take on these two standards, Sherman's quartet has definitely risen to another level. Henry Mancini's great composition "Moon River" ends the set on the second disc. Sherman's re-harmonized rendition and the nostalgic appeal of this tune, make it a real keeper. Overall, with Live At The Bird's Eye the Mark Sherman Quartet fills a vacancy on the jazz scene for an authentic straight ahead jazz quartet led by a vibraphonist and it should justifiably find its place in musical annals as a masterwork.

07.07.08Live At The Bird’s Eye, Mark Sherman, vibes.

Want to check out a furiously hip vibes player? Well, Mark Sherman’s live, two-CD set will convince you that his hard bop chops are on fire! Of course, it takes a village to put out all that heat, and this village includes Allen Farnham, piano, Dean Johnson, bass, and Tim Horner, drums. If you’re not young, you gotta be brave to tackle a pace like this, but Sherman and associates are up to the task and then some. Things get underway with “Tip Top Blues," at a Big Brown sort of tempo. Sherman’s quartet is put to the test on several other originals throughout the set, but one I particularly like had the rather odd title, “Hardship." It’s drone-like beginning leads to a rapid-fire exhibition of vibraphone pyrotechnics! After another hip outing called “Explorations," disc two turns its attention to standards with lengthy workouts on “You Don’t Know What Love Is," “There Is No Greater Love" and a sign-off surprise, “Moon River." The jury is still out on the question of vibraphone hero Milt Jackson’s heir apparent. But this steamy entry would seem to put Mark Sherman on the short list.
2008, Miles High Records, CD 1: 49:19; CD 2; 58:46.

07.06.08Featured Artist: Mark Sherman Quartet

Like the piano trio and the five piece trumpet, saxophone, and rhythm configuration (think Miles Davis' classic 60s quintet), there is a bit of tradition behind the vibes and piano quartet in jazz. The first band of this sort that leaps to my mind is the Modern Jazz Quartet with John Lewis and Milt Jackson. Gary Burton also used this lineup for a very fruitful collaboration with pianist Makoto Ozone during the mid-1980s, as has Bobby Hutcherson on some of my favorite Blue Note sides – 'Oblique' and 'Happenings.' The inherent mellowness of the vibraphone, blended with the harmonically rich sound of the piano, lends itself to a soft, dreamy, impressionistic sort of sound. I generally don't expect to hear a lot of high energy music when I see this sort of lineup. That is, until I heard Mark Sherman's new 2-CD set, Live at the Bird's Eye.

Sherman, who also plays piano keyboards and all manner of percussion, is a Bronx-born, Juilliard-trained veteran of the New York music scene. I first learned about his music back in the early 1980s from a college friend who had a few copies of Sherman's fantastic debut LP, 'Fulcrum Point' with Kenwood Dennard, Delmar Brown, Mark Gould, and Rael Wesley Grant. That plugged-in band played a brash, super-energetic form of fusion that was itself a surprising variation on the MJQ-esque vibes/piano/bass/drums lineup. However, 'Fulcrum Point,' like most of Sherman's recent recordings, added a horn to the front line.

On Live at the Bird's Eye, Sherman eschews the horn and presents two hours worth of invigorating and inspired modern jazz. The music here is relentlessly energetic, hard-charging, and brimming with sparkling improvisations from Sherman and his road-tested band: pianist Allen Farnham, drummer Tim Horner, and bassist Dean Johnson.

The first CD, comprised of five original tunes by Sherman, kicks off with 'Tip-Top Blues' an up-tempo piece with a Monk-ish twist that serves as an ample introduction to each member of the band, who all contribute gritty, soulful solos. 'The Winning Life' has a lovely melody that has taken up residence in my mind for the past few days – quite a bit like those wonderful tunes that Steve Swallow would write for Gary Burton's group. Though this piece is outwardly quite lyrical, Sherman solos with an uncannily focused intensity only to be matched by pianist Allen Farnham who sounds like he's simultaneously channeling the living spirits of Chick Corea and McCoy Tyner. Yet, its drummer Tim Horner who almost runs away with this one – he goes beyond mere support here, goading and coaxing both soloists to greater heights. 'Trust' is a gorgeous, swaying modal soul-jazz piece in 6/4 time with inspired, gutsy solos by Sherman and Farnham. The pianist's peaceful, but not placid, ballad ('Hope') follows. The dynamic, Coltrane-inspired 'Hardship' closes the first CD on a mountain-high note. What this quartet is doing on this track is some of the deepest and best modern jazz I've heard in the past couple of months. Each member of the group is spot-on for 13+ minutes of concentrated, high-level musical interaction. With all due respect to the leader, Allen Farnham's solo on this piece is absolutely bonkers. I'd give my eye teeth to have been in the audience for this one!

The second CD opens with 'Explorations,' another Coltrane-inspired modal piece, this time in 6/8, a tad more complex than the material on CD #1. Sherman and the quartet effectively maintain the high level of inspired musicianship - Horner's bustling, endlessly mobile drums, and Dean Johnson's deep, woody bass do more than just support the soloists; they prod and goad and insist. Sherman and Farnham respond in kind, and spin out truly wondrous extended improvisations before exchanging 8s with Horner to take the tune out. This is followed by a high-energy Latin-y version of 'You Don't Know What Love Is' – as uncanny as it seems, this quartet makes it work. Another standard - “There is No Greater Love" - follows, taken at a moderate tempo with Horner on brushes. Sherman's 'Tip Top Rhythm' is a variation on the line he used in 'Tip Top Blues', though the overall character of this version is a bit more restrained, sophisticated, and Monk-like. Farnham contributes another drop-dead solo here. The 2nd CD closes with Henry Mancini's classic ballad 'Moon River,' an appropriate finale for two sets of high-energy music making.

In summary, Mark Sherman's Live at The Bird's Eye documents an evening with a modern jazz group at the height of its powers. Highly Recommended!


06.13.08Mark Sherman Quartet "Live At The Bird's Eye"

Review by Paula Edelstein ALL MUSIC
Recorded "live" at the Bird's Eye Jazz Club in Basel, Switzerland, this double-disc set is truly indicative of why the Mark Sherman Quartet has consistently captivated their fans around the world. The award-winning vibraphonist continues the great traditions of Milt Jackson and Lionel Hamilton as an eloquent voice on the instrument and throughout the recording embodies the pure lyricism and melodic resonance that made his predecessors so popular with their fans. Pianist Allen Farnham delivers some of his best recorded solos to date, while bassist Dean Johnson holds the bottom end together with a constant array of rhythms and drummer Tim Horner remains a driving force in the music with great percussive colors that compliment those of Sherman's vibes. Disc One opens with "Tip Top Blues." Along with "Tip Top Rhythm"(which can be heard on Disc Two), these two songs are part of a small series of compositions which encompass the blues form and the rhythm changes form so often heard in the standard 32 bar song form of most jazz standards. Sherman and his band deliver their post-bop interpretations with indisputable acumen and exhilaration for over 11 minutes. Their great vibrations continue on "The Winning Life" and the band tears it up! This piece offers each member, especially pianist Allen Farnham, a chance to "blow" even though the melody is simple and the changes go through several major keys in the A section. "Trust" is a very cool, mystical, ballad which makes its debut on this recording. It features a 4 over 3 polyrhythm in the melody of the composition and is quite beautiful. For my taste, it is the best song on the CD. "Hope" which was also sequenced on the quartet's One Step Closer album, makes a great return but this time, its arrangement features has a matching intro and outro. Disc One ends with "Hardship" and features the band's execution of some very intense lines in the head of the tune and several solos on a blues. Disc Two opens with "Explorations" a tune from the ensemble's last CD called Family First. This song was dedicated to the harmonic innovations of the great saxophonist John Coltrane and a more fitting tribute by a vibraphonist has yet to be recorded. Two beautiful standards also reside on this disc — "You Don't Know What Love Is," and "There Is No Greater Love." The ensemble's interpretative improvisations are amazing, thoughtful, and push the harmonic envelope to no limits. The evaluation of Sherman's music will undoubtedly shift over time, but with this straight up and swinging take on these two standards, Sherman's quartet has definitely risen to another level. Henry Mancini's great composition "Moon River" ends the set on the second disc. Sherman's re-harmonized rendition and the nostalgic appeal of this tune, make it a real keeper. Overall, with Live At The Bird's Eye the Mark Sherman Quartet fills a vacancy on the jazz scene for an authentic straight ahead jazz quartet led by a vibraphonist and it should justifiably find its place in musical annals as a masterwork.

06.04.08MILES HIGH RECORDS-MARK SHERMAN QUARTET/Live at the Bird's Eye

At this point, we'd have to say it was something primal because none of us hipsters were around for the first time out, but there was always something undeniably cool about mallet swingers like Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson and Sherman has picked up on that cool quite nicely. This engaging double cd shows a solid band of pros at work turning out some spirited jazz, playing from around the horn enough that the variety gives it a welcome flow. Recorded live, these guys know how to work an audience and translate it to the audience at home as well. All told, a welcome straight up jazz workout that you shouldn't pass up.
Chris Spector-Midwest Records

04.25.08Mark Sherman & Joe Magnarelli / April 25th / The Cellar Restaurant / Jazz Club / Vancouver, Canada

ibraphonists appear to be an odd group of musicians to those who possess only scant knowledge of the instruments that they play. While wielding their mallets the musicians’ facial expressions often suggest an almost trance like state, due to the tremendous amount of focus and energy demanded of them. At times, a vibraphonist’s hands are no more than a blur as they pound out the rhythm on those aluminum slats, which in turn cause the resonators to emit warm, magical notes. Vibraphonist Mark Sherman’s performance at Vancouver’s Cellar Restaurant / Jazz Club, on April 25th and 26th, fits those descriptions well.
Holding two beaters (mallets) in each hand, Sherman, who was accompanied on this night by New York City trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, opened with the up-tempo, “Tip Top Rhythm," which appears on disc two of his album, Mark Sherman Quartet Live At The Bird’s Eye. The album was recorded on February 22nd and 23 at the Swiss jazz club located in Basel. There were two wonderful solos during the eleven-minute jazz odyssey, the first by Magnarelli, who proved time and again, to be a very emotive player, and the second solo by my choice as Canada’s best bassist, Vancouver’s own Jodi Proznick. In typical Proznick fashion, the petite musician bent low over her instrument, making the strings dance. As is usually the case, she evoked a strong, favorable response from the audience.
Sherman followed up “Tip Top Rhythm," with another piece from his current CD, this time he led the jazz ensemble in, “The Winning Life," a song which possesses a more ethereal melodic line.
Continuing to highlight songs from his two CD set, Sherman relied more heavily on, the vibes’ sustain pedal to elongate the notes. Magnarelli served up a meandering, mid tempo solo, which was both beautiful and brightly colored.
Prior to Mark Sherman’s performance I must confess to being somewhat skeptical, not about his talent, but rather if I would enjoy hearing a vibes man set the tempo and take the lead for an entire set. Previously, I had only heard the vibraphone used in the role of an accompanying instrument. However, very early in his set Sherman dispelled any concerns that I might have had. He is equally comfortable softening the mood, and slowing down the pace, as he is at setting a blistering tempo. He is also the kind of bandleader that other musicians embrace easily, for he creates lots of opportunity for his musicians. Proznick, pianist Tilden Webb, Joe Magnarelli, and drummer Jesse Cahill, all had an opportunity to stand alone in the spotlight, and all of them excelled. The band turned in an sterling performance which is amazing considering Sherman and Magnarelli only met the remaining trio of musicians, merely hours before they took to the stage. Sherman was quick to give credit to this trio of musicians, as well as Big Apple buddy Magnarelli.
During the first set, Guy Wood and Robert Mellin’s romantic, “My One And Only," seemed to be the crowd favorite. Sherman demonstrated that he is far more than a whirling dervish wielding beaters. His ability to coax a more relaxed, gentle feel from the vibes complimented Magnarelli’s tender, warm and mellow notes. Cahill demonstrated an equally soft touch on the drums, as he played with brushes.
Sherman closed out the set with “Modal Blues."

02.07.08Family First

Family First
Mark Sherman | Miles High Records (2007)
By Budd Kopman comments

The eminently swinging Family First is vibraphonist Mark Sherman's second release with this working band, the previous one being One Step Closer (CAP, 2005).
Sherman has been a stalwart of the mainstream scene for twenty years, and brings a true enthusiasm and deep love to this style of jazz. There can be no argument about the honesty of this recording. The main quartet—Sherman, Joe Magnarelli (trumpet/flugelhorn), Allen Farnham (piano) and Dean Johnson (bass)—are extremely tight, and together produce a distinctive sound where drums are not missed one bit.

The pieces, mostly originals by Sherman (some inspired by players such as John Coltrane and Pat Metheny) with some old and new standards, run the gamut of feels and emotions and make for a well-paced set. Some of the tunes venture towards the pop side of things, while others are used as vehicles for blowing over the changes.

The liner notes, written by Sherman, go into detail about the musical structure of many of the tracks. However, knowledge of music theory and terminology is not needed to enjoy the swing of the band and the crackling solos that everyone contributes. What is interesting is that if you can understand what Sherman is saying, it becomes immediately audible, which increases the listening pleasure. Sherman also waxes poetic about the sound of the vibes and the flugelhorn playing in unison, which he describes as the sound of this band, is very attractive.

Family First is an extremely solid set that is deeply felt by the players. Mainstream listeners will find much to enjoy on both the large and small scale.

Visit Mark Sherman on the web.
Mark Sherman at All About Jazz.


Track listing: Explorations; Fantasize; Family First; With Hope; Wapango; Lazy Autumn; Symmetrical; Punjab; We'll Be Together Again; A New Blue.

Personnel: Mark Sherman: vibraphone, percussion; Joe Magnarelli: trumpet, flugelhorn; Allen Farnham: piano; Dean Johnson: bass; Tim Horner: drums, congas (4); Chembo Corniel: congas (4, 5).

Style: Mainstream | Published: February 07, 2008

01.20.08MARK SHERMAN SWEET RHYTHM WINNING SPINS BY GEORGE KANZLER

MARK SHERMAN SWEET RHYTHM
Though drums was Sherman's first choice of instruments, he ultimately chose to concentrate on vibes. We're glad. His most recent CD, Family First (City Hall) is an invigorating mix of jazz standards (e.g. Jimmy Heath's "A New Blue," Joe Henderson's "Punjab") and originals, on which Mark shares front-line duties with trumpeter Joe Magnarelli. Sherman's lyrical side has served him well in backing vocalists like Peggy Lee. Ruth Brown sought out his services on occasion as well - and Larry Coryell has often been a colleague. He'll bring here the same group from the album: Magnarelli, pianist Allen Farnham, bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tim Horner.

01.19.08Interview/Feature Newark Star Ledger

Mark Sherman

When: 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m., Saturday.
Where: Trumpets Jazz Club, 6 Depot Sq., Montclair.
How much: $15 music charge, $12 minimum. Call (973) 744-2600 or visit www.trumpetsjazz.com.
What else: Sherman performs Jan. 30-31, 8 and 10 p.m., at Sweet Rhythm, 88 Seventh Avenue South, New York; $10 music charge, $10 minimum; (212) 255-3626; sweetrhythmny.com. He also Feb. 11, 8 p.m., at the Blender Theater at Gramercy, 127 E. 23rd St., New York; $16; (212) 777-6800; livenation.com.

By Zan Stewart

Star-Ledger Staff

Budding musician Mark Sherman’s aesthetic world shifted at age 13 when a friend played him saxophonist John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things," with pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones.

“I went nuts with the freedom of jazz," says New York City native and Yonkers resident Sherman, now 50. “I couldn’t believe the way Elvin sounded, the way he would swing."

Sherman, these days mainly a powerhouse vibes player, appears with his quintet Saturday at Trumpet’s in Montclair.

As a youth, he’d had studied classical piano from age 8, and added drums five years later, drawn to rock and R&B. Then came the Coltrane-Tyner-Jones experience.

Fascinated by Jones, Sherman played drums along with him on records, and then studied with him in 1971 at a Manhattan studio.

“The fundamental thing was to swing, cop Elvin’s feel," he says. “I would go see him live and that taught me a lot about digging in deep. He would sweat so much that his drum heads would be soaked."

Eventually, Sherman became enraptured by Coltrane’s music, and Tyner’s as well. “I loved that language, how they changed harmony," he says.

Sherman turned to vibes while a student at the High School of Music and Art in Harlem, and studied further at Juilliard School, from which he earned a post-graduate diploma in 1980.

“Vibes is like hitting a piano with sticks," he says. “I see it as a soloing instrument with a unique sound that rings, vibrates."

Sherman has had a very fruitful career, both as a performer and educator. He currently teaches at New Jersey City University in Jersey City and conducts clinics worldwide.

He’s done freelance recording, including albums and major motion picture soundtracks like “Intolerable Cruelty. He’s performed as a leader and with such notables as singers Peggy Lee, Ruth Brown, Jackie and Roy, and guitarist Larry Coryell.

After touring with Coryell from 1994-2001, the vibist decided to focus more on his solo career. In 2003, he moved another step forward by starting his own label, Miles High Records. His latest CD, “Family First," was issued on the line last year, and was selected as one of the Star-Ledger’s Top 10 2007 Jazz CDs.

At Trumpets, Sherman will work with an ace band comprising saxophonist Tim Ries, and three fellows from the CD: NYC bassist Dean Johnson, and pianist Allen Farnham and drummer Tim Horner, both Teaneckers.

On tap will be mostly originals – Sherman has written around 75 – including several from “Family First." Among these will be “Explorations," which travels along Coltrane-like harmonic routes; “Fantasize," a “melodic samba groove" in a Pat Metheny feel; and “Family First," a motors-along jazz waltz. Reharmonized standards, perhaps “Good Bait" or “My One and Only Love" are also possibilities.
Sherman, whose Web site is markshermanmusic.com, says that now what he loves about jazz is not only the freedom, but that it allows him to “just play the truth of who I am."



01.18.08"Family First," Mark Sherman

"Family First," Mark Sherman (Miles High Records)

The resplendent post-bop vibist and composer Sherman is yet another modern stylist who can blend the key aspects of jazz's past with the vitality of now. The leader and his top-rate crew -- trumpeter and flugelhornist Joe Magnarelli, pianist Allen Farnham of Teaneck, bassist Dean Johnson, drummer Tim Horner of Teaneck and conguero Chemo Corniel -- investigate originals and standards with invention. Sherman-penned winners include "Explorations," with its Coltrane-like mindset mixed with swing, and the telling bolero "With Hope." Other winners: a blues-drenched "Lazy Autumn" and a ballad-to-bossa "We'll be Together Again."

06.30.07Family First

By Michael P. Gladstone All About Jazz Magazine

Vibraphonist/composer Mark Sherman records as he has over the past twenty years and, unlike others who specialize on this instrument, continues to show no interest in expanding his sound to avant-garde or world music influences. What Sherman does exhibit is his use of Milt Jackson's blues and Bobby Hutcherson's shimmering vibes-style. Sherman's Family First again demonstrates that he is one of the best of the current vibraphonists on the scene. This album is very similar to One Step Closer (CAP, 2005) insofar that the personnel is identical, with the exception of tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, who is not present on this session.
Most of the synergy of the album derives from a combination of Sherman's compositions and performance, along with one of Philadelphia's best kept secrets, trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, who shares the melody lines with the vibaphonist. Otherwise, this first rate rhythm section of pianist Allen Farnham, bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tim Horner keeps the music sizzling. Conguero Chembo Corniel appears on both “With Hope" and Paquito D'Rivera's “Wapango."
The Lane/Fischer ballad, “We'll Be Together Again," gives the group a chance to make reference to the vibes quintet setting of the past, and a cover of Joe Henderson's “Punjab" revisits one of the favorite bop tunes of the 1960s.


06.05.07By Eyal Hareuveni ALl About Jazz Magazine

Family First, by New York-based vibraphonist and educator Mark Sherman, revolves around similar concepts that reflect his spiritual, artistic, and personal priorities to reach, touch and move people. This is his second album with a working band that has developed a distinctive sound which includes the unison playing of Sherman's vibes and Joe Magnarelli's flugelhorn.
Sherman uses the ten pieces on the recording as vehicles for studying harmonic and rhythmic possibilities, mainly within the post-bop legacy. Examples include “Explorations," (a modern interpretation of John Coltrane's “sheets of sound"), the title piece (where the lush melody provides many avenues for harmonic articulation), and the playful circle of tonalities on “Symmetrical." The only exception is “Fantasize," inspired by the cinematic lifting and sweet melodies of guitarist Pat Metheny.
Sherman leads his band beautifully through the challenging execution of Paquito D'Rivera’s “Wapango," where the band and guest conga player Chembo Corniel develop intense interplay, following a fiery Afro-Cuban rhythmic structure. The cover of the complex swinging “Punjab," by saxophonist Joe Henderson, reveals yet again the rich and flowing unison vamp sound of the band (bringing an updated color to the original execution by Henderson’s trumpeter Kenny Dorham and pianist McCoy Tyner). The concluding track is another bop classic, Jimmy Heath's “A New Blue," a dramatic, playful exploration and extension of the blues form, with beautiful solos by Magnarelli, Sherman and Farnham.
Family First is a beautiful demonstration of a sometimes intense, sometimes loose, but always elegant and swinging band.




05.31.07Chuck Graham Tucson Citizen

Published: 05.31.2007
"Family First" (MHP/City Hall Records)
Sometimes, hipsters of a certain age need to settle in with a crisply chilled martini and contemplate their past. This is the album for those moments. Mark Sherman plays an athletic set of vibes. His mallets shimmer with a bebop bounce that extends jazz evolution past Lionel Hampton, George Shearing and those smokey vibists who seemed to be appearing in every Playboy Club in every city all at once. Then they disappeared.
Sherman has that same cool confidence, the kind that evaporated from society sometime after the jazz fusion movement but before Wynton Marsalis. Those who know will immediately recognize Sherman has it. They can also stir in some film noir ambience to make the mix tastier.
Playing along are Joe Magnarelli, trumpet/flugelhorn; Allen Farnham, piano; Dean Johnson, bass; and drummers Tim Horner and Chembo Corniel. Of the 10 tracks, five are Sherman originals. The others include tunes from Joe Henderson and Jimmy Heath, as well as the haunting "We'll Be Together Again."
This gives a definite freshness to the familiarity, like meeting a person who knows all the rules to a game many people have forgotten how to play. So listen and remember, hearing all the notes and savoring the victories.

05.29.07Mark Sherman"Family First"

Owen Cordle, Correspondent
Mark Sherman, "Family First" -3 Stars

Jazz musicians often write originals or rearrange standards to address specific challenges, such as unusual harmonic sequences, complex rhythms or knotty melodic lines. John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" is probably the most oft-cited example. It is in this tradition that vibist Mark Sherman's "Family First" (Miles High Productions/City Hall Records) appears, with Sherman explaining the musical intricacies in the liner notes.

You do not have to understand the details to appreciate the album. The music is quite melodic and has an innate warmth and beauty in the tonal blend of Sherman's vibes, Joe Magnarelli's trumpet or flugelhorn and Allen Farnham's piano. Bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tim Horner complete the group, with conga drummer Chembo Corniel joining in on Paquito D'Rivera's Cuban-influenced "Wapango."

The sound of fluegelhorn and vibes in unison defines the sound of the band, Sherman explains in the liner notes to the title track. The flow of his playing often suggests late Latin jazz vibist Cal Tjader. The album includes five Sherman originals, Farnham's "Lazy Autumn," the standard "We'll Be Together Again" and three others.

"Explorations" reveals Coltrane's harmonic influence via shifting chords over a static bass note. Sherman, Magnarelli and Farnham navigate the harmonic fields gracefully -- no hint of melodic awkwardness anywhere. The title track also employs this approach. Jimmy Heath's "A New Blue" is a harder swinging vehicle with breaks for the drums.

Sherman, who studied percussion at Juilliard, has performed in Broadway pit orchestras and toured with Peggy Lee, Ruth Brown, vocal duo Jackie (Cain) and Roy (Kral) and guitarist Larry Coryell. This album is a fine testament to his experience, study and quest.
Owen Cordle, Correspondent

05.26.07Mark Sherman "Family First"

Glenn Astarita

CD-2007 City Hall Records

New York City vibraphonist Mark Sherman shouldn’t reside as one of the jazz world’s best kept secrets as his latest solo endeavor provides credence to that viewpoint. With his sextet, he merges power, finesse and a budding sense of movement. On his original composition “Fantasia," Sherman sparks remembrances of vibe-master Gary Burton’s ‘70s ECM records via the song’s lightly-flowing tempo and his gently thrusting mallet work. Moreover, trumpeter Joe Magnarelli serves as a strong foil for the leader as he fuses surging-like sentiment with lyrically-charged phrasings.


When not stretching his wares, Sherman effectively weaves in and out of the overall rhythmic element. Besides the swing and bop connotations, percussionist Chembo Corniel injects a Latin-jazz element into two works. Yet one of the highpoints of this album resides within the band’s take on late tenor sax titan Joe Henderson’s minor-classic titled “Punjab." Here, Sherman, Magnarelli and pianist Allen Farnham articulate the sinewy melody line with probing inflections and soaring choruses, where they launch into a brisk medium-tempo swing vamp during the bridge. No doubt, Sherman brings quite a bit to the proverbial table with another winning effort. – Glenn Astarita

Mark Sherman: vibraphone, perc; Joe Magnarelli: trumpet, flugelhorn; Allen Farnham: piano; Dean Johnson: bass; Tim Horner: drums, congas; Chembo Corniel: congas

05.26.07Neil Tesser "Listen here Radio"

"He has a real voice on the instrument that's very lyrical and
deceptively simple.... it's about making pure simple melody."


05.21.07Mark Sherman Family First

Modern.....Contemporary....Compelling......These are words that are brought to the forefront when you listen to jazz vibist Mark Sherman's new CD jazz project effort. Some added musical fodder are the fine originals offered by both Sherman and jazz pianist-sideman Allen Farnham. Sherman's improvisations can be easily described as ''individual'' as he accurately connotes form, harmony, tonality, modality, melody & rhythms in his musical interpretations.....And, certainly doing these things justice I might add. The group's expressive output is never pompous....Rather refined, concise, & compact....Adhering to a precept of romantic, artistic, ''listener hypnosis'' for our benefit.

George W. Carroll/The Musicians' Ombudsman

05.18.07Mark Sherman - Family First 4/4 O's Notes:

O's Notes: Vibraphonist Mark Sherman led his band through ten mostly original tunes. Allen Farnham (p), Dean Johnson (b), Tim Horner (d) and Joe Magnarelli (t) are the accompanying musicians and they play strong as does guest artist Chembo Corniel (congas) on "Wapango", a Latin based tuned with strong percussive accents. "A New Blue" serves as a platform for each of the team to solo and it swings. The sweeping tunes like "Fantasize" and "Lazy Autumn" make this a refreshing and pleasant listening experience. Our favorite was "Symmetrical" with great solos by both Mark and Joe and well as a combined lead line. It's worthy of repeated listening.
D. Oscar Groomes
O's Place Jazz Newsletter

05.15.07MARK SHERMAN Family First by Tom Ineck

"Family First" jumps with joy, the kind of spontaneous gaiety that comes from musicians of like mind who make their music sound effortless. Vibraphonist Mark Sherman already has proven himself a top-notch player and leader, with a handful of CDs under his name in the past decade, including 2005's marvelous "One Step Closer," featuring sax giant Joe Lovano. You can read a review of that release in the November 2005 BMF newsletter or click here.

Minus Lovano, Sherman has gathered the same bandmates for his latest endeavor-trumpeter-flugelhornist Joe Magnarelli, pianist Allen Farnham, bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tim Horner, with conguero Chembo Corneil added on two tracks. Sherman penned half of the 10 tracks, revealing again his ability to create play-worthy pieces that never sound alike.

"Explorations," a tribute to John Coltrane, explores all the harmonic possibilities with a modulating pedal point over a driving rhythm. It's no surprise to learn that "Fantasize" was influenced by the spirited, melodic music of Pat Metheny. Its rock rhythms and folk-infused melody conjure the popular fusion sound of the guitarist without mimicking him. The lilting title track brims with exuberance, from the opening statement pairing vibes and flugelhorn to the inventive solo by Farnham and the solid support of the rhythm section. Horner and Corneil, both on congas, provide a gentle rhythmic cushion for the ballad "With Hope," which also features a definitive flugelhorn solo.

Paquito D'Rivera's "Wapango" is a perfect vehicle for the band's virtuosity and compatibility. They fly through the rapid, difficult changes with aplomb, generating considerable heat and excitement in this Afro-Cuban tour de force. "Lazy Autumn," a Sherman tune arranged by Farnham, has an appropriately loping, bluesy mood, and "Symmetrical" reflects its title in a swirling cycle of changes.

Joe Henderson's "Punjab" and the ballad standard "We'll Be Together Again" get new, revelatory interpretations, especially the latter, another brilliant Farnham arrangement. "Family First" closes with "A New Blue," Jimmy Heath's infectious, fresh take on the blues. The whole band swings mightily on this one.

With most of the performances lasting about five minutes, Sherman eschews superfluous soloing in favor of tight arrangements alternating brief solo statements and interesting harmonic passages for multiple instruments. It is a formula that works to great advantage and truly makes this outfit seem like a musical "family" that plays very well together.




05.15.07Nashville City Paper

Current and vintage jazz
Vibist Mark Sherman's angular, darting approach and blend of originals, bop and Latin covers are the major attributes of his newest release Family First (City Hall). Sherman's a careful, yet inventive improviser, and his solos on either his own pieces like "Explorations," "Fantasize," or "With Hope," as well as Paquito D'Rivera's "Wapango" and Jimmy Heath's "A New Blue" are nicely complimented by the assistance of trumpeter/flugelhorn soloist Joe Magnarelli and pianist Allen Farnham, whose "Lazy Afternoon" is another band selection.

Additional percussionist Chembo Cornel (on congas) brings more rhythmic spice to the numbers "With Hope" and "Wapango," while drummer Tim Horner shifts over to congas on "With Hope," giving that piece a tougher, freer rhythmic setting. While playing with precision and discipline, Sherman's band delivers music that's equal parts intelligent and passionate on Family First.

05.15.07All Music Guide

While the individual solos on vibraphonist Mark Sherman's Family First are impressive, as are his six originals, it is the blend between Sherman and trumpeter/flugelhornist Joe Magnarelli that really makes this a distinctive and special disc. The lead voices often think in similar ways, as does pianist Allen Farnham, who contributed "Lazy Autumn." Some of the music is reminiscent of Bobby Hutcherson in the 1970s, but other parts are quite original while being tied to at least the outer stretches of hard bop. Chances are that none of the originals will catch on as future standards but they definitely inspire these musicians to play at their most creative within modern straight-ahead jazz. Recommended.

05.15.07CD Hotlist

Mark Sherman is both a very accomplished composer and also one of the most gifted improvisers on the vibraphone, a man whose fluid grace and rock-solid swing have made him a first-call player on the New York scene. This album is a warm and winning selection of quintet tracks, most played in a straight-ahead, hard bop style. Recommended to all jazz collections.


05.15.07Newark Star Ledger

Vibist and composer Mark Sherman, an excellent post-bop craftsman, engagingly investigates a host of originals, and a few covers. The leader and his top-rate crew - trumpeter and flugelhornist Joe Magnarelli, pianist Allen Farnham, bassist Dean Johnson, drummer Tim Horner, and conguero Chemo Corniel - deliver this music with élan, precision, and inventiveness. Sherman-penned winners include "Explorations," with its Coltrane-like mindset mixed with swing; the luxuriant Latin bolero, "With Hope"; and the wistful waltz title track. Farnham adds a blues-drenched "Lazy Autumn," and an open-minded ballad-to-bossa version of "We'll be Together Again." Paquito D' Rivera's bubbling "Wapango" is aces, too. One down note: The Pat Metheny-esque "Fantasize" feels too pop-jazz for this collection.
-Zan Stewart-NEWARK STAR LEDGER

05.15.07From Irish Times, Ray Comiskey, May 4, 2007 3stars

Sherman is a hugely experienced and talented vibist and composer here leading a precise and well-schooled quintet completed by Joe
Magnarelli (trumpet/flugelhorn), Allen Farnham (piano/fender rhodes),
Dean Johnson (bass) and Tim Horner (drums). His writing for the group
is challenging, yet deftly constructed and full of character,
constantly demanding more of his soloists without overwhelming them -
though it would take a lot to faze Magnarelli and Farnham, both, like
Sherman, in splendid form, driven well by the rhythm section. And the
apparent ease and accessibility of Sherman's compositions, where the
ear is concerned, belie the complexity he has carefully built into
them. This is a swinging band, crisp and authoritative - and
noteworthy, too, for the way its signature blend of vibes and
flugelhorn works. www.cityhallrecords.com - Ray Comiskey
--

09.07.06Reviews

MARK SHERMAN
One Step Closer (CAP)

Juilliard alumnus Mark Sherman, a vibist and pianist, sticks to vibes (and a bit of marimba) on this pleasant album. His light touch recalls Red Norvo, although his style runs closer to Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson. His rhythm section includes pianist Allen Farnham, bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tim Horner. Trumpeter Joe Magnarelli also appears on most cuts, and guest tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano is aboard for three performances.
Although Sherman can write challenging tunes ("Modal Blues," for example), the emphasis on the playing is a graceful approach rather than a bravura approach. His ballad playing ("Moon River," Farnham's "Hope," "My Princess" and "My One and Only Love") creates a romantic mood that belongs exclusively to the sound of the vibes, especially as associated with the Jackson tradition. Magnarelli makes a fine impression throughout with lyricism, warmth and a good tone. Lovano is, well, Lovano--always right for the occasion, whether it's "Moon River" or the boppish "Modal Blues." Farnham, restricted mostly to a supporting role, delivers solid solo goods on "Ella Bella."
-Owen Cordle "Jazz Times Magazine

Mark Sherman “One Step Closer" ***1/2
Let’s praise journeymen: Unsung -veterans are—to steal an Aretha Franklin lyric-doing it for themselves. Vibist Mark Sherman is a case in point. This band sounds like the kind of unit you’d love to spend an evening with in a club.
James Hale
Downbeat Magazine December 2005

Mark Sherman plays vibes with a brash, sprinting edge and a declamatory, ringing sound. He's also a gifted composer who can place swirling, complex harmonies into a swinging format under catchy, even memorable melodies. He deserves a lot more exposure, and now, with One Step Closer, he's got a terrific record that will widen his audience considerably, if there's any justice There isn't a weak track on this album. Sherman is consistently inventive. His use of boppish grace notes adds unpredictability to his lines. Mark Sherman has delivered a winner.
Marc Meyers All About Jazz Magazine

Here's a wonderful , new discovery. Some of New Yorks greatest jazz musicians including tenor saxophonist Joe Lo-vano, trumpet fluegelhorn master Joe Magnarelli, pianist Allen Farnham, bassist Dean Johnson, and drummer Tim Horner join Mark Sherman in the studio for a series of inspired post-bop beauties.
Sherman jazz vibraphone has been a behind- the- scenes fixture in New York for 25 years, working with The New York Phlharmonic, Joffrey Ballet, Peggy Lee, Ruth Brown, and Gloria Lynne.
He contributes seven thoughtful, compositions to his new CD.
Farnham adds two more originals, and the recording's repertoire is wrapped up with a shifting reshaping of My One And Only Love and the bands reharmonization of Moon River. That features a stellad reading by Joe Lovano and Mark Sherman and company conjure up a seasoned, singular interpretation of the tune.
This independently produced release is a gem and worth the search.
Try www.markshermanmusic.com

Joseph Blake (Times Colonist Victoria B.C.)


Vibraphonist Mark Sherman lights fires with this straightahead session. His sterling sextet of all-star jazz veterans lends a cohesive hand to interpret his set of original compositions and standards with authority.
Emulating the vocal qualities of his instrument, Sherman spins slow ballads and uptempo romps with facility. The round edges of his vibraphone tones emit a fluid glow. "Moon River" oozes with sentiment as the ensemble communicates its message convincingly. Allen Farnham's “Hope" rings true with the same kind of heartfelt openness. Sherman's “My Princess" steps into a dream world where day flows into night without pause, and the standard “My One and Only Love" settles in comfortably under the vibraphonist's guidance. Seamless phrases roll off his felt-covered mallets with cotton-mouthed expression.
In an upbeat mood, the ensemble interprets Farnham's “Genkitively" with thoughts of a Caribbean vacation in mind. Rollicking with a celebratory spirit, Sherman and his crew party hearty. His “Ella Bella" sashays lightly with a smooth samba spirit; Joe Magnarelli weaves a lyrical web alongside. The session closes with Sherman's “Long Trip Home," which offers a bright outlook with promises of keeping the straightahead flame alive and well for future generations.
Jim Santella- All About Jazz Magazine



Sherman’s recent albums prove him a player worthy of consideration in the same breath as contemporary vibraphonists like Joe Locke, Steve Nelson, and Stefon Harris, and the one-two punch of The Motive Series and One Step Closer prove that he’s arrived and is giving the modern mainstream a fresh alternative voice.
John Kelman All About Jazz Magazine

Mark Sherman - ONE STEP CLOSER: Must have been "jazz heaven" that Mark had in mind when he titled this CD... 'coz that is where this music will take you - at least if you're a "jazz-head", that is. His vibraphone work is brilliant, shining jazz that will get your motor running! We've been reviewing his great works since about 1995 or so... all the way back to issue # 36... about 4 CD's thus farly... I'm sure that's why they keep coming our way, 'coz everything I've ever heard from him had real panache & spirit - & "One Step Closer" takes him (& you, the listener) ever nearer Nirvana, to be sure. This one will be on the racks in your favorite local store around September 6th, 2005, & you'll want to be first in line to snatch this one up. He's joined by some really strong players... Joe Lovano does tenor sax, Joe Magnarelli on trumpet & flugelhorn, Allen Farnham on piano, Dean Johnson's bass & Tim Horner on drums. Once again, Mark has put together a truly classic jazz set that you'll want to stay in your "active" collection. Nearly all original (& new) pieces, you'll fall in love immediately with his skill & energy... my favorite on this album was "Spiritual Exercise"... it's the kind of tune (particularly because of the vibes) that will spur you to get connected again - no slothful spirits here, I can tell you. This CD gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those who love jazz that kicks tail! Get more information through his site, at www.markshermanmusic.com
Rotcod Zzaj Improvijazation magazine


This CD is an eclectic mix of compositions by Mark Sherman, Allen Farnham, and a couple of ballads as well, with a good contrast of driven rhythms, sensual standards, and even a languorous lullaby. Sherman, on vibraphone, stands with the best for mastery of this challenging instrument, and Sherman, as composer and arranger, uses ingenuity in assembling both sax and trumpet for brassy textures.
Notable tracks:

#3 –Moon River – Composed by H. Mancini and J. Mercer. A reflective and romantic track, this ballad is presented with authentic Mancini mystique. Sherman on vibes opens the melody with Farnham’s backup in a soft, sensitive mood. Johnson and Horner on bass and brushes provide a cushion, before and after Lovano’s intriguing interlude.

#6 –Genkitively – Composed by Allen Farnham. With trumpet and sax infused in this upbeat, jumping track, Farnham generously showcases Sherman’s vibes, as well. The piano plays support in this tropically rhythmic piece.

#8 –My One and Only Love – Composed by R. Mellon and G. Wood. Sherman and Farnham create an elegant mood in this mellifluous ballad, backed by Horner on brushes and Johnson on bass. Lovano takes a smooth solo in between, breathy and bluesy, and the effect is magnetic and memorable. It’s a track to hear numerous times for total appreciation of the value of vibes in jazz.

#9 –Ella Bella – Composed by Mark Sherman. Magnarelli spices this track with buoyant brassiness, as he shares the theme with Sherman and Farnham. This is one of my favorite tracks, for its fascinating fusion.
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower "Roberta On The Arts"
February 20, 2006

The vibraphone shines up any ensemble you slip it into, giving the music a lustre and bounce. Just ask Dave Holland, who uses Steve Nelson's mallet expertise in his bands, both large and small.
Mark Sherman, Julliard-educated, is a versatile musician who--in addition to his jazz outings--has played in symphonic situations with Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, and Sir George Soite; and if you want to talk about jazz, he has been a member of guitarist Larry Coryell's ensemble for the past five years. With several CDs out under his own name, most recently The Motive Series (CAP, '04), with tenor sax man Michael Brecker sitting in on two tunes, Sherman now offers up a quintet affair featuring saxophonist Joe Lovano on three cuts. He does know how to pick a guest artist.
Positive vibes (pun intended) seems to be the theme of Sherman's sound, a music with a gregarious feeling. It would be easy to count the tunes with Lovano as the highlights; the man seems incapable of turning in a less than inspired effort, especially on Henry Mancini's “Moon River," played straight, with Lovano smoldering out of a sweet, end-of-the-solo vibraphone cascade. But this ear favors Sherman's original “Spiritual Exercise," a gleaming uptempo tune full of energetic interplay between trumpet, piano, and vibes.
Six of these ten tunes are by Sherman, and he proves himself a first rate composer/arranger with an ear for a lot of tasty piano/vibes interaction.
A breakout effort for the mallet man!
By Dan McClenaghan- All About Jazz Magazine


Totally raw in it's beauty, interpersonal, symbiotic, polyphonic, symphonic in it's subtleness, graceful, musically delicate, stunning in it's artistic quality............. And, that's even before we consider the colossal talents contained therein: The sumptuous flugelhorn of one Joe Magnarelli, The sweet reed quality of the legendary Joe Lovano, The tight crisp trio of Allen Farnham-piano, Dean Johnson-bass, Tim Horner-drums.......All held together well by the distinct, intellectual, & novel vibraphone ring of their leader, Mark Sherman. Forgive me when I use an over-worn statement as I proclaim: It doesn't get any better than this!

George W. Carroll/The Musicians' Ombudsman EJAZZ NEWS

Mark Sherman's sixth album will hopefully do something to spread the word about this talented vibraphonist's work. Sherman knows how to play a ballad or bop tune well, and his style harkens back to a 1960s Blue Note sensibility—invoking at times Bobby Hutcherson's work during that period.
-Michael P. Gladstone A ll About Jazz Magazine

New York-based vibist, marimba player and composer Sherman makes modern-minded, melodically underpinned music on this appealing CD. Sherman gets a warm, ringing tone; his compositions and improvisations tell interesting stories. Sherman rolls out crisp, long lines.

- Zan Stewart Sunday's Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ).
Much of the music of vibraphonist Mark Sherman is hard-edged East Coast bop—with a difference. Sherman’s playing on vibes and marimba softens and warms the effect, creating a delightful contrast in dynamics, perhaps an essential sense of balance that he learned during his six-year stint with singer Peggy Lee. This cream of NYC jazz stalwarts rises to the top time after time. At age 48, Sherman is long overdue for the level of recognition he so richly deserves. Perhaps “One Step Closer" will truly be a big leap in that direction.

By Tom Ineck
Don't be put off by the fact that the majority of the tunes are original compositions by the leader, as there is some really worthwhile playing in this up-to-the-minute Modern Jazz.
Aside from the appearance of master saxophonist Mike Brecker, this is a feature vehicle for Mark Sherman's artistic vibraphone display. He can be regarded as having a similar ability as that of Bobby Hutcherson, Mike Manieri and Joe Locke, even though they all have differing styles.The rhythm section propels each of the compositions in a spirited manner, always being mindful of Mark's requirements, whilst Farnham provides a good alternate solo voice.Vibraphonists seem to be fading in the distance, excepting of course Gary Burton and Larry Bunker. This is, therefore, a welcome release showing some new mallet players on the scene. Give this one a try - you may be pleasantly surprised.
- Al Merritt Jazz Now Interactive

Mark Sherman - THE MOTIVE SERIES: Sherman's vibe playing on this jazzy little CD will excite those of you who have already listened to his work (he's been reviewed here for quite some time now), as well as new listeners. I mean, this cat is all over it, & will have ya' groovin'. The fact that Michael Brecker guests on tracks 2 & 4 doesn't hurt matters, either, but Sherman's original compositions (all except cuts 1 & 9) are what captivated my ears more than anything else. Mark is one of the absolute best vibraphone players on the planet today, & his crisp, straight-ahead compositional style is immediately attractive to any jazz listener who has even the slightest dose of hip! There is fire shining from his (musical) soul, & it will be immediately apparent to your ears that you're in the presence of a master! This CD gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, as well as the "PICK" of 2004 for "best vibe jazz". Truly, this is one of the best albums we've heard this year!
-Dick Metcalf, aka Rotcod Zzaj Improvijazzation Nation Magazine

The whole group operates like a well- honed machine, as they deploy their wide range of useable musical skills. This is a group of prodigiously talented players offering us their brilliantly adventurous art for our enjoyment & edification. Wow!
-George W Carroll Ejazznews.com

“Mark Sherman is a fresh, clear, bright voice on the vibes. This is apparent from the first track. The Motive Series should elevate Mark Sherman to the prominence he deserves."
-Dr. Judith Schlesinger All About Jazz Magazine

"Mark Sherman is a long time friend who composed the super-hip"Spiral Staircase" and plays vibes with a vengeance.In this unrestricted atmosphere of a straight ahead blowing date, he came through with some "killer" solos and ensemble playing."
-Larry Coryell (liner notes High Note Records)

" a sensitive virtuoso on the vibraphone"
-Andrew Porter, New Yorker Magazine NYC

"Mark Sherman: "A New Balance" on Columbia is getting some re-awakened interest nationally because of a fusion oriented single, "Changes In My Life", drawn from Sherman's ecclectic album. The vibes player knows his way around the keyboards and synthesizer too. "Serenity" is a straight ahead effort and "Songo" a burner. Both cuts will appeal to the broad jazz audience: The album is worth a spin: it's getting that all across the country.
-Jazziz Magazine

“One of the more exciting discoveries was the playing of Sherman..... There is a lot to absorb in Shermans playing....A small price to pay for the chance to hear a performer who explores a song so thoroughly."
-The Citizen, Ottawa

"Sherman's trio churned out pulsing meaty jazz in a variety of styles. Sherman played several shimmering vibe solos that packed a explosive punch. His bold improvisations effectively countered the tightly orchestrated arrangements".
-The Charlotte Observer Charlotte N.C.

"A fine performance (of Darius Milhaud's Concerto for Marimba, Vibraphone and Orchestra)... This rarely performed work exploits the Marimba to great advantage."
-Bill Zakariasen, The Daily news NYC

"Sherman's playing has flash, sophistication, and depth harmonically".
-San Francisco Chronicle